SCAMPER Technique – how does it work?

Generating new ideas is essential for the development of products and services in the world of business. It allows you to stand out in the market and compete with major players while also keeping your target audience satisfied. However, coming up with new ideas is harder than you think, especially if it is something that you need to do regularly. 

Although brainstorm sessions might be somewhat effective, you need to utilize the best technique for achieving the results that you desire. This is where the SCAMPER model comes to your rescue. It offers an effective way to generate ideas for the newest products or services by focusing on how you can improve your existing offerings. If you have never used the SCAMPER technique, you will find our post to be useful.

What is the SCAMPER Technique?

In the simplest of words, SCAMPER is an easy, direct, and quick technique that is used for creative brainstorming. If you have been searching for “what is a SCAMPER”, you will come to know that it is a tool that is used for discovering how you can improve your existing products or services. It uses seven prompts to achieve this. Each of these helps you churn out creative ideas to improve current offerings by developing something new. Alex Osborn who is the originator of brainstorming came up with the questions that are widely used by the technique. But, Bob Eberle helped organize the SCAMPER mnemonic to help put it to good use. The mnemonic can be utilized by considering the questions that accompany each letter.

S – Substitute (Scamper Strategy)

  • Which resources or materials can you swap or switch for improving your product or service?
  • Is there any other process or product that you could be using?
  • What would happen if you change your attitude or feeling towards the product?
  • Can the product be put to use somewhere else or be substituted?
  • Which rules can you substitute?

C – Combine

  • What if you combine the objectives or purposes?
  • What would occur if you combine the product with any other product to create an even better product?
  • How can you combine resources and talent to develop a new type of product?
  • What can you combine for maximizing the product uses?

A – Adapt

  • What else can the product or service do?
  • How can you readjust or adapt the product for serving another use or purpose?
  • What other product or ideas can you utilize as inspiration?
  • Is there any other context that your product could cater to?
  • What or who can you emulate for adapting the product?

M – Modify

  • What can you include to modify the product?
  • How can you change the look or feel of the product?
  • Which element of the product can you improve to create something completely new?
  • What can you highlight or emphasize to provide greater value?

P – Put to another Use

  • Who else can use the product?
  • Can the product or service be used for something else such as another industry?
  • Can the waste from the product be used for creating something new?
  • How can the product behave differently in a different setting?

E – Eliminate

  • What can you tone down or understate?
  • Which rules, parts, or features can you eliminate?
  • How can you simplify or streamline the product?
  • What will occur if you removed part of the product? 
  • How can you make the product lighter, faster, smaller, and more fun?

R – Reverse

  • What if the process was reversed or how you sequence things?
  • How can you reorganize the product?
  • Which roles can you swap or reverse?
  • What components can you replace to change the product order?
  • What if you did something the opposite way?

How to use the SCAMPER Technique?

In order to put the SCAMPER technique to use, you need to take your existing product or service that you want to improve or the one you have problems with. It would serve as the starting point for a better product. Then, you must let the mnemonic guide you by considering the questions it asks. Try to attempt as many questions as possible and note down the answers. For the best results, you should use Weje service as a solution for Balanced Scorecard. You can use a special template that has been designed to help you. It is the ultimate SCAMPER tool that you need to use for making sense of the technique. Here’s one of the SCAMPER examples:

As you use the tool, you will come up with a variety of ideas. Keep in mind that there will be some ideas that would simply be impractical and you would be unable to use them which is completely fine. There is no need to worry. All you need to do is use the tool to generate as many ideas as possible. Then, you can go through the answers that you have come up with and determine if any of them can serve as a viable solution. Chances are that there will be some answers that will help you create something new. Thus, you can explore them further to find out where they lead you. 

Example

For a better understanding of how the SCAMPER technique works, you need to consider an example. For instance, if you want to improve a thermal flask for morning commuters, here is how you would need to work through the questions to develop something new.

  • Substitute: You can substitute the metal cap for a plastic one for reducing heat loss. 
  • Combine: You can get designers and artists to work together to create more attractive flasks that will sell like hotcakes. 
  • Flasks: Find out how you can adapt the design and materials to create the perfect flask.
  • Modify: Since the flask might not be easy to hold, you can modify it to include a rubber sleeve for allowing people to use it more easily.
  • Put to Another Use: Instead of just designing the flask for morning commuters, you can also design one to cater to other groups of people such as traveling couples.
  • Eliminate: Get rid of the handle on its side to ensure that it fits into a backpack or work bag with ease.
  • Reverse: Try to do things in the opposite way. This means that you can use the flask to measure how cold a drink is when it is summer. 

Now that you know how the SCAMPER technique works, you can use it for generating ideas for new products. It will help you innovate and improve products so that you can take your business to the next level.